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Teaching Personal Finance at Beaufort High School to “Live Like No One Else”

One of the Foundation’s newest initiatives involves preparing high school students for lifelong financial freedom. Through a program offered at Beaufort High School funded by the Foundation by generous donations from Danielle and John Troutman, Financial Advisors with Merrill Lynch and Carol and Harley Ruff, students are learning how to manage money using Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance Course.

This past school year, Business Education Instructor and Coach, Eddie Baker, taught 92 eleventh and twelfth graders at Beaufort High School.

“I have reviewed various sources,” says Baker. “The addition of the Dave Ramsey curriculum has provided a balanced and valuable look into the financial world and teaches the students life skills. His Five Foundations are what all students in the eleventh and twelfth grades should be taught.”

The results at Beaufort High School have exceeded expectations. The majority of the students that took the class had an 80% or better average grade on lessons which included learning how to budget, save, spend wisely, and invest.

“While it isn’t the norm these days,” states Baker. “It can be for those that learn early; that debt is something to avoid if at all possible.”

Baker also reported that of the students enrolled in the course who had employment during the semester, 90% had close to or over a $500 “emergency fund” by the end of the semester. An “emergency fund” is a fundamental principle that Ramsey teaches in the course – a fund that will cover those unexpected life events that you can't plan for.

Already recognizing the value in what they learned through the course, several of the students have also recommended the class to their peers.

According to Ramsey’s website, more than 45% of schools across the country have used the Foundations curriculum - equipping a generation to live out their dreams and give to the world around them.

Due to the success of the program over the last year at Beaufort High School, the Foundation for Educational Excellence is hoping to secure further funding support from other resources to make the program available to all Beaufort County high schools.

As a part of Ramsey’s Five Foundations, the course instills in the students the idea that “If you will live like no one else NOW, later you can live and GIVE like no one else.”

These are invaluable lessons for high school students to learn at a young age to set them up for financial success in life ultimately benefiting themselves, their families and their communities. The Board of the Foundation is excited to see the continued results at Beaufort High School during the upcoming school year and hopes that this program is adopted throughout the entire Beaufort County School District in the years to come.


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